Books Magazine

John Updike: a Helpful Alphabet of Friendly Objects

By Winterthorn
JOHN UPDIKE: A HELPFUL ALPHABET OF FRIENDLY OBJECTSIN 1957 JOHN UPDIKE PUBLISHED his first book, The Carpentered Hen and other tame creatures, a collection of poems that had appeared in The New Yorker starting in 1954. His second child David had been born the year before, and included at the end of the book is a series of poems collectively titled A Cheerful Alphabet of Pleasant Objects with the dedication "to David." What follows is twenty-six poems, one for each letter of the alphabet. Apple, Birdbath, Cog, Doily... Most are not subjects that would generally appear in a child's abecedaria--Ottoman, Trivet--and the poems are not really for children. From Ottoman: "Lessons in history: the Greeks / Were once more civilized than Swedes. / Iranians were, for several weeks, / Invincible, as Medes." There are cute observations and some concrete poems (see below), but overall the poems are weak, and Updike chose not to include them in his 1993 collection, Collected Poems: 1953-1993.
JOHN UPDIKE: A HELPFUL ALPHABET OF FRIENDLY OBJECTS From The Carpentered Hen reprinted in Verse (1965)
JOHN UPDIKE: A HELPFUL ALPHABET OF FRIENDLY OBJECTSFrom The Carpentered Hen reprinted in Verse (1965)
Two years after Collected Poems, Updike published his final children's book, A Helpful Alphabet of Friendly Objects. This time, David, now forty-two and with a son of his own, provided the photographic illustrations, which are largely of Updike's grandchildren (with a cameo by Updike himself). This time the dedication is to the grandchildren: "For Anoff, Kwame, Wesley, Trevor, and Kai cousins all." With the exception of Apple, none of the objects from the first alphabet are repeated in the second, and now the traditional Bird, Cat, Dog appear. The verses are simpler too: "A bird has a beak, / a bright eye, / and wings. / In the sky, / it flies; / in the tree, / it sings." There is one concrete poem.
JOHN UPDIKE: A HELPFUL ALPHABET OF FRIENDLY OBJECTSFrom A Helpful Alphabet of Friendly Objects (1995)
David Updike is an author in his own right, having published a number of short stories in The New Yorker, two collections of fiction, and several picture books, including a quartet of books about a boy Homer and his dog Sophocles, one for each season.
It is fitting that John Updike's writings for children started and ended with his own children and grandchildren.
JOHN UPDIKE: A HELPFUL ALPHABET OF FRIENDLY OBJECTS
All images are copyrighted © and owned by their respective holders.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
    FOOD & DRINK, A-CLASSER
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING

Magazines